How to get through your first year as a truck driver?

Truck for a hero section
Written by Mike Skliar

Getting A class CDL is the easiest step in your truck driver career. Next comes the first year of work – a real challenge for every newbie trucker. You should do your best to become a professional. And knowing what to expect can help you get through this. 

Don’t expect too much

Yes, the first advice – do not expect too much. High income, good routes, easy loads – these things you will have after getting some experience. But in the beginning, your company may test you and send you to tough customers. Or ask to deliver cargo that no one else wants to deal with. Just be patient and work hard – your career worths it! And remember that it will change for the better after that first year.

Try to finish your first year free of accidents

Of course, accidents are very common in the first year of newbie truckers because of a lack of experience. And not everything depends on you. But try to do your best to avoid accidents. Remember rule #1: no matter the weather or situation – slow down. Sometimes some stupid mistakes can spoil your driving record and shake your confidence. Or even worse – put an end to your driver career. So stay alert, don’t rush, and be prepared for your trip.

Keep in touch with family and friends

You will be away from your loved ones for several weeks and more. It will be stressful not only for you but for them too. Fortunately, nowadays, we have a lot of options to keep in touch. At least virtually by phone and video calls. And when you come back home everything you’ll want is to have rest and sleep a lot. But it is not a good idea. Your family and friends need you, so try to give them as much attention as possible. It will help you to save a relationship you care about.

A little tip. If possible, try to find a trucking company that has a terminal located not far from your home. So you will be able to spend more time at home between loads.

Be ready not just for a new job, but a new lifestyle

It will take you some time to get used to the new lifestyle. Weeks on the road, trouble sleeping in a truck in parking spaces, a lot of fast food, and loneliness. But you get used to everything and begin to find positive aspects. The work of a truck driver is freedom and the opportunity to travel throughout the country. And if you buy a small refrigerator and fill it with homemade food – life will sparkle with new colors!

Remember why you started it

Yes, your first year can be rough. But you have a goal in your mind, and it will help you to get through this. Do your job well, show that the company can rely on you, and gain the necessary driving experience. In the end, your efforts will pay off, and you will be able to get your dream job in a reliable company.

If you are just thinking of becoming a truck driver and looking for a good CDL school, we have the opportunity for you. Carolina CDL Training Center is your chance to get all the necessary skills and start a successful career in trucking. More information here.

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Author Mike Skliar

As the truck driver recruiting agency's CEO, I deeply understand the unique challenges and demands truck drivers face.

Drawing from my extensive work experience, I bring knowledge in truck driver recruitment, logistics, and transportation management. I possess a comprehensive understanding of industry regulations, safety standards, and best practices, ensuring that the agency adheres to the highest standards of professionalism and compliance.

Now, looking back and remembering my path from the very beginning, it seems to me that this story is a lifetime. During all these years of development and growth of our agency, I took part in no less interesting projects in which my experience, knowledge and vision were needed. And I was also able to gain new skills, contacts and experience by participating in the development of these projects from various fields, such as cargo transportation, trucking companies, e-commerce, parcel delivery and much more! But the best is yet to come!

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